Top Tech-Savvy School Libraries on the West Coast


The following is a compilation of nine outstanding, college or university libraries on the West Coast that integrate technology in order to best assist tech-savvy students. These libraries excel in their field by providing numerous technological services ranging from resource-sharing to device-lending for students and faculty.

Check out what these cool schools are doing to innovate and give their communities the best.

Stanford University Libraries at Stanford University

1. Stanford University Libraries at Stanford University


Stanford is a pillar of technological studies. Its library stands out as a research, learning and communications hub for tech-savvy students.

Stanford not only offers a variety of classes online, but it also keeps the academic community in the loop with each other through its online news platform.

The Stanford library system has thousands of research volumes and various borrowing platforms at its disposal. Students and faculty get accessibility, reliability and efficiency in their research. Plus, Stanford has several research programs, some in the Information Technology or Nanotechnology fields, to further technical growth across campus.

Claremont Colleges Library for The Claremont University Consortium

2. Claremont Colleges Library for The Claremont University Consortium


To save time and money, this centralized library specializes in resource sharing among its seven Claremont Colleges: Pomona College, Claremont Graduate University, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.

It has a ‘demand-driven’ acquisitions program for e-books. Rebecca L. Lubas, Associate Dean of the Library, explains how it works: “Demand-driven models give a selection of titles that are only paid for by the library if someone chooses to use the title.” She says that by using this program, the CCL has “made approximately 55,000 e-book titles available” and paid only a fraction of the normal cost.

The CCL started creating a technology lending program last year to increase resource potential for students and staff, and will introduce a new library system this year. The plans for these incorporate inclusive search integration, which will make finding resources easier, and the library will use tech tools like Google Glass and Leap Motion, for more convenient lending.

Caltech Library at California Institute of Technology

3. Caltech Library at California Institute of Technology


Scholars at Caltech have a variety of technology-focused fields to choose from. With tech-related research opportunities plus a slew of web-enabled resources at their fingertips, tech-savvy scholars at Caltech can truly benefit from the school’s amenities.

DocuServe is a source delivery service for the library that expedites research and aids scholars of all levels. The school offers several research programs, like the LIGO project that specialize in technical development.

Students also benefit from wide-ranging online coursework and learning environments. Caltech participates in Coursera and edX programs – free online courses taught by elite professors and made available to students around the world – to make their top-notch professors more accessible to students.

Caltech has an Office of Technology Transfer and Corporate Partnerships (OTTCP). According to its website, it is responsible for “facilitating and managing the transfer of technologies created by scientists and engineers at Caltech to the commercial sector.” This ensures Caltech scholars’ research is validated outside of the classroom.

Students, faculty, community members and visitors can keep up to date with Caltech advancements through its research news page.

O’Grady Library at St. Martin’s University

4. O’Grady Library at St. Martin’s University


This tech-savvy school participates in a research-sharing consortium called Orbis Cascade Alliance.

According to Scot Harrison, the Library’s Dean, the consortium initially started resource-sharing and licensing to leverage the institution’s collection budgets, but it’s grown into something much more.

“The Alliance is engaged in deep and radical collaboration to challenge traditional thinking and elevate our ability to deliver outstanding services, programs, and collections,” said Harrison.

The consortium has also helped make technology-based scholarships and research initiatives possible. The Urban Archivist Project—a grant-funded research project that uses a mobile app to make access to digitized sources easier—is just one of the many opportunities now available, thanks to the library’s collaborative focus.

GCU Library at Grand Canyon University

5. GCU Library at Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University has 55,000 online students and it’s important to the university to be able to reach all members of its community. Creating a, personalized research experience for everyone is a top priority.

The library prides itself on using technology for services like a virtual group instruction for classes and on-demand research assistance for individuals online.

“Current technology allows us to connect with students and faculty, wherever they are located, to provide customized research and library instruction,” said Bob Romantic, Executive Director of Communications and Public Affairs.

That accessibility is made possible by hundreds of thousands of e-sources, top-notch tech support and countless online research tools at students’ and teachers’ disposal.

Reed Library at Reed College

6. Reed Library at Reed College


Reed College centralizes its research and resources through its library. After an expansion in 2002, the library is fully equipped with computer workstations, study spaces, a Wi-Fi network and more technological features that contribute to the school’s technological accessibility.

Reed researchers can get information from over 500,000 volumes and over 10,000 journals. And if they can’t find what they’re looking for in those, they can search several lending programs Reed Library participates in, including the Orbis Cascade Alliance, the Oberlin Group, and the Northwest Association of Private Colleges and Universities.

Another notable feature of the college’s commitment to tech-savvy solutions is its online blog. This web-based sharing platform is open to students, faculty and visitors alike to keep everyone in the loop with campus events. The site has 20 thematically-diverse blogs that include technology-centered topics like “Teaching and Learning with Technology at Reed” and “Datablog.”

Reed Library also offers its users extensive tech support through the campus help desk and other computer information services.

Welcome to the Reed College blogs!

Daisaku & Kaneko Ikeda Library at Soka University of America

7. Daisaku & Kaneko Ikeda Library at Soka University of America


The Ikeda Library at Soka provides extensive tech support – from troubleshooting to computer repair – to students, in the areas of device-use and online sharing platforms.

Soka prides itself on its ability to provide students and faculty with the devices they need.

“All students are given a laptop their freshman year,” said Wendy Harder, Soka’s Director of Community Relations. There’s “full wireless coverage, Google Chromebox computers, Microsoft Windows virtual desktop computers and terminals on every floor of the library.”

Harder said there’s also remote access off-campus to databases and other electronic library resources via EZProxy, a web proxy server.

More library support comes from its sharing platforms. According to Harder, the library participates in several, including “OCLC WorldShare, SCELC and LVIS.”

Elvin & Betty Wilson Library at University of La Verne

8. Elvin & Betty Wilson Library at University of La Verne


The University of La Verne’s library has the best of both old and new. State-of-the-art equipment, like a 3D printer and scanner, is available to students and faculty, but so are tried-and-true research methods like digitized archival sources, projectors, DVDs and microforms.

The University is known for its high search volume, with over 501,600 searches per week in 2014. University Manager Wayne Thurston reports that catering to each and every request with the same attention and support is a top priority for the library.

Wilson Library also has an extensive computer lab plus iPads and laptops available for in-classroom use to enhance lesson plans.

University of La Verne

Penrose Library at Whitman College

9. Penrose Library at Whitman College


Penrose Library boasts a wide variety of digital sources and an interlibrary sharing network that allows research to thrive.

Gina Ohnstad, Whitman’s Media Relations Specialist, said the school has electronic sources like digitized archival pieces, e-journals, e-books, and digital primary sources.

Whitman College is also part of the Orbis Cascade Alliance. This organization coordinates source sharing and increase borrowing potential among thirty-seven schools in the northwest. Students and faculty can search all libraries at once and sources are sent out daily to shorten wait time.

According to Ohnstad, as a member of Orbis Cascade Alliance, Penrose Library can offer more than 614,446 volumes to multiply search results for researchers.


About Author


Claire earned her English degree from Dickinson College in May 2014 and has been writing web content since then. She is an expert on our Internet team. Her other interests include traveling, playing sports and walking her dogs. Although she grew up in Charlotte, NC, Claire has lived in Singapore and Spain and is fluent in Spanish.

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